I moved blogs — a while ago!


If you’re still following me over here and wondering where I went to — I’m over here!

After 95 posts on this blog, I decided to bring it to a close and start something new. If you have a Tumblr, go ahead and follow me. If you don’t, you can bookmark my blog and go see it every now and then (I’m also looking into a subscribe button). If you don’t want to do either, that’s okay too :)

And if you’d like to check in, my new email is cgdantoni@gmail.com.

Thanks for the many reads, friends!

Out of shape and sharing

This is not a diet post.

All I used to do was eat. Still not a diet post. Now I work and eat. Very creative intro, am I right? This is what a 9 to 5 has done to me, and I’m not just referring to my robotically brief sentences that make me sound out of shape.

Though I am out of shape — as a writer. Since I’m doing all the work things now, I’m in bed before my creative juices start flowing, and that has *says pretensiously* hindered my creative abilities immensely.

But I’m here, and I’m typing, and for a little while, may be doing more photo uploading than writing.

Scroll down and indulge with me!

I started burning garlic and putting it on top of things. It was a mistake at first, before I learned to simmer, but — I love it! I’m weird, I love the taste of burned garlic mixed with rice, beans, or dotting tomato slices.


I’ve been going to Xiao Bao Biscuit and Artisan Meat Share in Charleston now whenever I’m “going out to eat” which is definitely a little more rare now. But, having less nights out lets me be a little more selective, and I end up treating myself with these Soul food/Asian-inspired gems.


Update: Five Loaves is still the Soup and Sandwich God’s gift to Charleston.

And Pink Bellies noodle bowls are bomb.

I finally went to Minero, the restaurant everyone couldn’t stop talking about (a few months ago).  It’s now moved on to the “that place is SO good” phase.


And,  I’m still a nova lox bagel freak trying to survive in Charleston.

Thanksgiving in Nola 2014

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Going home to New Orleans for the first Thanksgiving since my grandmother’s passing wasn’t unlike going home for her funeral. The whole landscape felt different, as if the tectonic plates had shifted but the bayou still sank in the same way.

I knew not to expect anything except an emptiness, and a whole lot of food. And that, is exactly what I got. A low point was sobbing unexpectedly in my Aunt and Uncle’s bathroom and high points included spending time with my parents and finally being able to say I enjoyed the oysters at oyster night. It took me 21 years to like them!

While my Thanksgiving traditions will never be the same, I found myself appreciating the new traditions I’m starting unexpectedly. Since my brother moved back to New Orleans in May, we’ve taken our sushi dates with Dad in Maryland to Sake Uptown in Nola between just the two of us. He also showed me around his favorite bar, St. Joe’s, which is a much cooler version of the dive bar I love in Charleston but with blueberry mojitos and Nola hipsters.

It’s nice to say my brother is back living there, and that on my visits we can always have our sushi dates (and accidentally order flaming special sushi rolls).

P.S. – If you’re not familiar with my traditional Thanksgiving, my Thanksgiving plate is full of rice, corn, cranberry sauce, butternut squash casserole, turkey, and oyster dressing.

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Last magazine article for the Yard


The second issue of the Yard came out today, and it wasn’t until I was holding it in my hands at our distribution tablewarehouse12 that I fully realized it would be the last time I would be doing all of this. I’m so used to the magazine deadlines, the restaurant outings, and the early morning distribution — and when I graduate in December I will unfortunately have to say goodbye, to all of it! The last features story I did for the magazine is called “Belly Up to the Bar.” I wanted my last piece to be something fun, and something different than I’ve done in the past. And since I am newly 21, a bar feature seemed like the right idea!

I wanted to incorporate food with bars, so my angle was “bars with bellies in mind.” Excuse the pun and title of the article, but sometimes, something is too perfectly cheesy to pass it by. In a span of only one week, my photographer Stephanie and I went to a different bar every day at around 5 pm to sip and snack (to use some words from the article!) Although nothing could be more fun to write about than bars, our meeting times were still scheduled, and still seemed like one of our to-dos.

ginjoint5But the minute Stephanie and I got there and ordered a drink, everything would come into place. We would talk about our days and she would take pictures and I would pretend to know something about styling food. Stephanie and I have become great friends, and I’m already missing those days together. We’ve joked that we want to keep using our opening line, “Hi, we’re from Cistern Yard News and we’re here to feature local bars…” over and over again, even off-duty.

Writing this article, and any article in the past for CYN, has given me a scheduled time to enjoy myself and my coworkers. It’s a little lack luster, but sometimes it takes a deadline to really get things happening and for me to get out and moving! I hope I’ll be lucky enough to work in an environment like this in the “real world” as well someday. And maybe they’ll pay for the food :p

Click here to read the story in full through ISSU.

Finally, fall break

Fall break always comes at the most needed time for most students, and definitely for me. By that week in the semester, I am definitely feeling broke, burnt out, and not exactly at my healthiest. Fall break brings long awaited hugs from my parents, dinners out, and most importantly: a fridge stocked with all my favorite treats, and liquids to drink besides water. Can you tell where my priorities lie? Below are some photos from my dining in and out, including sushi, Indian, homemade smoked salmon eggs Benedict inspired by a recent trip to Eli’s Table, and my first time at Paladar, a new “Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar” in Rockville. All this reminiscing has me begging for another break, which luckily comes in three weeks for Thanksgiving! New Orleans, New Orleans, I am ready for you. IMG_0598.JPGIMG_0606.JPGIMG_0611.JPGIMG_0621.JPGIMG_0640.JPGIMG_0635.JPGIMG_0634.JPGIMG_0658.JPGIMG_0663.JPG

(Photo by Stephanie Greene)

Big Gay Ice Cream article now online at CisternYard

Hello! Just writing to tell you I have a new article posted online over at my school’s student newspaper, CisternYard News. It’s called “Big Gay Ice Cream’s place at the Southern table.” This article was my favorite kind to write — it starts as simply event coverage, and then you find pieces along the way that develop the story into something you never thought it could say or be.

This time, I started with a trip to the Big Gay Ice Cream truck outside of Butcher & Bee last Sunday. When I got there, the line was so long I considered leaving and scratching the article all together. But I stayed, and this is what came out of it! In the process of researching Big Gay Ice Cream, I learned the real purpose of their journey was to attend the Southern Foodways Alliance’s symposium…and things went from there!

I’ve reposted it here, but please also view it online to help our website’s view count!



IMG_5019 I am by no means an ice cream gal, but when I found out that the Big Gay Ice Cream truck would be in front of Butcher & Bee for a few hours on a Sunday, I became one. This event would be unlike other partnerships between food trucks and local restaurants around town; the Big Gay Ice Cream truck is on its Southern tour, their second stop was Charleston and this wasn’t any old grilled cheese or banh mi truck we’re talking about. This was a truck named the most influential food truck in the country and the only truck ever invited to attend the James Beard House in New York. And the highest distinction? It’s an ice cream truck.

Ice cream is one of those incorruptible things that triggers a certain mindset — unless you were to drop it smack on the ground — then there might be some tears. Ice cream is pure, fast-melting fun, synonymous with childhood, bouncy balls and most of all, summertime. This ice cream state-of-mind is where Big Gay Ice Cream Co-Owner Douglas Quint found himself one summer, and how his now nationally known truck simply started. In an interview, BGIC Office Manager Patt Devery said that, “Doug wanted to do something weird over the summer, and an ice cream truck seemed like the weirdest fun.” And the “Salty Pimp,” the owners’ premiere soft serve cone, is about as weird and fun as it gets. Instead of using traditional names for their ice cream, the owners went to Twitter and came back with the current BGIC favorites including the “Bea Arthur,” the “American Globs” and the “Mermaid.” But the Salty Pimp? That was all Quint. In the opening line of his interview with Epicuriousity, Quint muses, “I’m still sort of shocked when I eat a salty pimp.” As for the truck’s name, it was something of a no brainer. Quint said, “I called it the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck because the whole thing seemed kind of gay. You know I was a middle aged guy in an ice cream truck that was going to sell high end topping in the streets of New York!”

Quint and his partner/co-owner Bryan Petroff started BGIC in 2009, and this year will mark their fifth anniversary selling soft serve — now with two stores in New York, and two up-and-coming locations in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. As a part of this anniversary, they decided to reacquaint themselves with their old wheels and drive down south — all for a very specific end-point in mind: their last stop would be to join the Annual Southern Foodways Symposium from Oct. 23-26, put on by the Southern Foodways Alliance in Oxford, Miss.

The theme for the SFA’s seventeenth symposium is “Who is Welcome at the Welcome Table?” and members plan to ask IMG_5035the gritty questions of inclusion that have been long side-stepped in this region, such as this: Does our “southern hospitality” include all ethnicities, genders and classes? Questions like these are currently being addressed head on, and in this particular circumstance, it’s all happening at the dinner table — pass the fried chicken, will you? As Quint says of the Southern tour and BGIC’s participation in the SFA Symposium, “Tighten your bible belts, it’s going to be a wild ride!”

According to the collaboration between the director of the SFA, John T. Edge, BGIC and the owners at Butcher & Bee, the ice cream truck’s Southern tour in is a sign of a movement towards this kind of inclusion, at least in the food industry. All members are seemingly both contributing and benefitting from this attempt, as BGIC develops flavors such as the “Pecan Gobbler,” as an addition and warm welcome on their southern tour to cities like our own, Atlanta, and Birmingham, Ala. And according to Butcher and Bee’s Randi Weinstein, BGIC’s presence in front of Butcher & Bee brought people out that didn’t yet know about B&B and their newly opened sister location, The Daily.

IMG_5078-2As I bit into my Bea Arthur, I had never appreciated the separate notes of an ice cream cone more — the chill of the soft serve, the dulce de leche, the crunch of the wafers — it all became worth it. In Quint’s piece with Epicuriosity, he said he feels “like ice cream is a universal food, you don’t need teeth to eat ice cream. So, you can be eight months old, you can be 108 years old, you can be the richest man in America, or you can be the poorest man, and you can afford [ice cream] with pocket change.” This universality of ice cream is what very apparently makes it so incorruptible —  it’s for everyone, and might carry along with it just what we need to usher in further ideals of inclusion and equality in the South: an ice-cream state of mind.I arrived at Butcher & Bee on the big, gay day at 3:30 p.m., and the line was not only stretched out to the edge of King Street, but was wrapped around The Daily and even in front of the shops next door. I got nervous — after all this, was I not going to be able to taste the flavors of the Bea Arthur, in all its vanilla wafer glory? As I stood there in line, I made the decision to wait, and I mean really wait — for over two hours, along with the dozens of heads in front of me and the frustrated newcomers trickling in behind. We all waited differently — I chatted with my ice cream-crazed friends, one woman popped open a bottle of wine and little kids ran restlessly all around B&B’s parking lot — Quint even made an appearance to appease us with some coffee giveaways. It was all quite comical, standing in line, jumping up and down on our knees and talking to strangers, everyone seeming to be like kids again, waiting in line for the ice cream man.

New article featured in The Yard, “Eating from Bay to Broad”


It’s been a while since I’ve posted (is this not the most used WordPress intro in history?), but I have been busy completing my last semester of college as well as gearing up for this “real world” thing. If you’d like to see what I’ve been writing, check out my online portfolio, here. One of my favorite pieces as of late is the food article I wrote for my school magazine’s first issue this semester, “Eating from Bay to Broad.” I love my job at the school paper because I have the freedom to say, I want to try these three new places in downtown Charleston, and somehow make a story out of it. Somehow, I can always find some sort of connection, and this time, it was actually an intersection of streets. In Charleston, East Bay Street is known for its proximity to the water at the east side of the peninsula and for its warehouses. And in contrast Broad Street is known for its location at the base of the peninsula, and for a stately, hoity-toity kind of flare (that only gets more so South of Broad). In my article, I talk about the two streets intersecting (literally), which I don’t think has been really written about before. I’ve pasted all of the text and some of the photos from the article below, but also feel free to flip through a virtual copy of the magazine here. Flip to page 34.


By Christina D’Antoni

East Bay and Broad; these are the streets that shape our city. Geographically, they split the peninsula into boroughs, namely Ansonborough and South of Broad. Historically, they signify Charleston’s great centers of commerce and jurisdiction. And culturally, they define and complicate this beautiful city we live in.

King Street and Battery Park clog tourist pamphlets and receive notoriety for their commercial beauty and charm, but as we Charlestonians know, there is so much more to this peninsula held on the backs of these boroughs and their less nationally acclaimed locations.

Anyone can feel it, walking down King, Broad, East Bay or Meeting – that premonition that each side street passed is a missed opportunity, capable of both sunny sojourns and twilight secrets, a “maybe later,” a forlorn feeling. And this doesn’t stop at strolling, shopping or, of course, eating. There are restaurants and specialty shops from Bay to Broad that the neighbors know, and are waiting for you to visit…


IMG_3940-300x200East Bay St., originally just “Bay,” has a certain marshy stillness to it, as if you drove and drove miles to the shore and you arrived to a quietness. But in Charleston, this happens in a matter of minutes and intersections. As you walk down Calhoun towards East Bay, there isn’t a single hint that you’re coming closer to the edge until you look straight ahead and the buildings start to grow larger and more sparse. East Bay and its surrounding Ansonborough have a subtlety found less so on the rest of the peninsula. There is no air of pretension or as many historic porticos, but there are wealths of local seafood and meats.

Making your way down the street, you’ll find that 289 East Bay is no longer painted the color of orange juice, but white with steel, now Ted’s Butcherblock sits back in a strip mall off East Bay, and looks anything but charming. But as you walk in, you see the packed cases of meats and realize you’re not just in any sandwich shop or deli. Owner Ted Dombrowski stocks the shop with cheese, artisanal bacon (for the bacon of the month BLT) and a selection of wines. The bbq pulled pork panini stands out as the customer favorite, with house-smoked heritage pork, cheddar cheese slaw and house bbq sauce. And of course, their gouda mac & cheese, stuffed into plastic cups on almost every customer’s table.

Making your way down the street, you’ll find that 289 East Bay is no longer painted the color of orange juice, but white with IMG_3946-208x300steel, now 167 Raw. CofC alumni, Jesse Sandole and Kyle Norton, opened their gourmet seafood market and cafe as a second location and companion to their family seafood market in Nantucket. Sandole states, “Charleston has an incredible food culture, [and] we wanted to bring the concept of a fish market/restaurant to town because it’s a bit different than what people are used to experiencing…we’re bringing in all the best seafood we can find from up and down the East Coast which makes for an exciting dynamic in our kitchen. Our menu is small and simple but by having the seafood case at our disposal we’re able to change it everyday.” And they do. Customers come by cars and by foot to 167 Raw to scope out the case and take home boxes of scallops or tuna poke and chips for dinner, or to serve as sides. Its Ansonborough’s neighborhood seafood jaunt, and it feels very at home there.

Broad Street is stately, there’s no denying it. Maybe it’s the large churches, or the Greek Revival of the Four Corners of Law, but most likely it’s because (at least historically) it has the broadest streets in Charleston. Art galleries feel dignified here, and so does really every building that seems to tower over you, making walking down the street a humbling experience.

IMG_3891-200x300Tucked onto Church Street, right off of Broad under a black awning is the very quaint fromagerie, goat. sheep. cow. The shop carries over 200 types of cheeses from both the U.S. and Europe, and with cheese lovers in and out daily, goat. sheep. cow. began to make a “sandwich of the day” to appease them. Patty Floersheimer, a co-owner, commented, “It seem[ed] to work as we did not want to become a sandwich shop but still wanted to give our clientele what they asked for.” Daily sandwiches with ingredients like Finocchiona, marinated feta cheese, roasted red peppers and local arugula are now hot-items at goat.sheep.cow., and while most of their sandwich customers “were regulars who live[d] and work[ed] in the neighborhood,” Floersheimer said, “Now we seem to reach well beyond these boundaries.”

A couple blocks away on Broad, Gaulart & Maliclet, known lovingly as “Fast and French,” is really anything but fast and plainly French. In an interview with Manager Lawrence Mitchell covering everything from gazpacho to the original founders’ philosophies, he divulged the nickname is less about the food and more of a play on a certain artistic lifestyle. Mitchell states, “We continue to want to be the place that people can come to every day.” At community tables with a total of 33 seats in house, there are “students, artists, tourists, and then you have jurors, clergy, and lawyers. We don’t stick to a category, but it’s really an interesting place where all that mingles…the whole place is designed as a social experiment – bringing people together.” With low prices (Try the Croq’ Monsieur for $4.10 or the O’Rye for $8.25), and a wide variety, Fast and French is 30 years strong and somewhat of a Broad Street institution. Mitchell said, “We’re always thinking about how to take care of the [Fast and French] building. We’re married to our building. We’d never leave.”

Thanks for reading! I’ve also changed the name of my blog to SABER, but am still keeping the “totastetoknow” url. This is a part of my movement towards posting more than just food posts here, and allowing this blog to be whatever I really want it to be.